April 18, 2014

County tourism commission sets budget

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The London-Laurel County Tourist Commission passed their 2014-2015 budget during their Tuesday afternoon meeting at Heritage Hills Banquet Hall.

The budget was overall very similar to last year’s budget with a few minor changes.  Advertising and promotions saw one of the biggest budget increases, from $13,800 last year to $25,000 this year.

Overall, the budget outlined that in 2014-2015 the tourist commission expects to collect $610,260 through receipts and cash, transient room tax, grants and revenue brought in by billboard rentals, the Heritage Hills Theater and through rentals of the Heritage Hills Banquet Hall.

Their estimated operating costs for the year is $610,260, leaving them with a balanced budget for the year.

During the budget report, board member Scott Smith, owner of Shiloh’s, shared his concerns that the county tourist commission would carry the majority of the financial burden for sharing a website and promotional materials with the London Tourism and Convention Commission.

On March 18, the two tourism groups made a deal to share directors while the city’s commission was determining the job requirements for their permanent director. During this meeting, the county tourism commission also offered to share a website and other promotional materials such as a logo and brochures.

“Until they get a budget lined out, we can’t really firm anything up,” answered Commission President Tom Handy.  “We’ve talked generally about sharing a lot of things whether it be the brochures or the website.  Where we can, we’re going to share things.  Everyone has said we’re willing to share a lot of things.”

“That’s right,” said Troy House of the London Tourism and Convention Commission.  “We expect to share in a lot of the costs, a lot of the labor, things like that.”

London-Laurel County Tourist Commission Co-Director Rodney Hendrickson added having two websites promoting tourism for the same area would be very confusing to tourists and explained, when the city commission sets their budget, they would start sharing expenses for tourism-related events.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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